20 Things to do with Paper Cups


Following on from my 20 Things To Do with Paper Plates post and 20 Things To Do With Lolly Sticks, here is my next list of things to do with paper cups.

1. Octopus.  You can paint or wrap the cup in coloured paper. Draw two eyes and a mouth and cut 8 strips of paper for tentacles which you can glue to the rim of the cup. Older children could plait wool to make tentacles.

2. Skittles.  Stack cups into a pyramid and roll a ball or rolled up socks/gloves at them.

Skittles from incywincyartclub.wordpress.com

3. Shaker. Decorate two cups how you wish and then fill with rice. Glue or tape the cups together and shake!

4. Advent Calendar. In a large rectangle of cardboard cut 24 holes the a couple millimetres less than the size of the rim.  Push the cups into the holes, full with advent goodies and glue tissue paper over cups to seal. Write numbers 1-24 under the cups.

Picture from Parents.com

5. Decorate plain LED lights. Decorate the cups, cut a small ‘X’ shape in the base and push led light through the X cut, repeat for all lights.

Colorful cup lights

Picture from Buzzfeed.com

6. Sheep. Paint the bottom of 4 wooden pegs black and peg on to the rim of the cup, equally spaced.  Glue cotton wool balls to the cup, use a large cotton wool ball for a head, glue on googly eyes and black paper ears.

7. Windchime.  Decorate cup and punch several holes around the rim and one tiny hole in the bare. Thread beads and small bells along string and tie to cup using the rim holes. Thread string through the  base to hang.

Picture from momto2poshlildivas.com

8. Crown.  Decorate the cup and then cut the top of a cup into a jagged crown shape. Thread hair elastic or a thin hair band through the base of the cup to attach to your head.

9. Frog eyes.  Paint or use 2 green cups, cut 2 white arches out of paper and glue to the cups so the bottom of the arch is at the base. Draw on a black circle for the middle of the eye.  Cut holes in the rim of the cups to thread onto a hairband.

10. Centipede.  Decorate the cups and then thread together with string.  Glue on two legs to each cup and help the caterpillar wriggle across the floor.

11. Rocket launcher. Draw a rocket decoration on a cup with the rim as the bottom.  Cut 4 equally spaced slits into the rim and attach an elastic band (or two to make a taut cross).  Place a second cup underneath, pull the elastic cup down over the top and let go, it will launch into the air!

Picture from preschoolalphabet.blogspot.ca


Picture from preschoolalphabet.blogspot.ca

12. Apple box.  Visit this page for full instructions.

Picture from willowday.com

13. Pop-up puppet.  Decorate the cup, make a slit in the base, push a lollipop stick through and glue a character onto the stick.  Push the stick up to reveal the character.

peek a boo ghost

Picture from allkidsnetwork.com

14.  Anemometer.  Head over here for full instructions.

Picture from learningideasgradesk-8.blogspot.co.uk

15. Pom-Pom Shooter.  Cut the base of the cup off.  Cut off the end of the balloon and stretch the balloon over the rim of the cup.  Place a pom-pom inside and then pull back the balloon and shoot!

16. Daisies.  Cut slits down the rim and bend backwards to make petals  (round off the corners). Use a straw or lolly stick to push through the flower as a stem.  Decorate as you wish.

Picture from sweettidings.blogspot.co.uk

17. African drum. Check out this blog for great instructions.

Picture from artsmarts4kids.blogspot.co.uk

18. Fairy House. Cut a doorway into the cup and glue a paper bowl upside down on top of the cup.  Decorate as you like.

Picture from parents.com

19.  Minimalist wreath. Thread approximately 30 white cups onto string and tie in a circle. Arrange the cups so equal amounts of the cups are showing and glue in place of they are sliding around.  Use a ribbon to hang.


\picture from viewfromthefridge.com

20. Weaving craft.  Cut several slits all the way down to the base and weave thread or thin wool through the slits.  Check out more details here.

Picture from artwithmrsnguyen.com

Have you any other paper cup ideas?

J x

 Toddler Approved Tuesday


  1. October 27, 2015 / 7:47 am

    An amazing roundup of such simple activities. I loved the advent calendar, could use the idea for another project with my daughter 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!


    • October 29, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      We already have an advent calendar that I’ve sewn myself a few years ago, but if we hadn’t I would definitely make this! 🙂 x

  2. October 27, 2015 / 7:58 am

    I love the fairy house! Thanks for sharing #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      I know, it’s so cute, we’re definitely going to make it! 🙂 x

  3. October 27, 2015 / 8:11 am

    So many great ideas! I can see the pom pom shooter going down very well here!

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:37 pm

      Ha ha, I know my two would love it too, but worried about something like a conker getting in there! 🙂 x

  4. October 27, 2015 / 12:34 pm

    Well done on a lovely collection of ideas, I’m loving the windmill

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you, they are so many lovely ideas! 🙂 x

  5. October 27, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    I love, love, love your ideas Jenny. I really like the idea of making an advent calendar out of cups. That would be so much fun and also, who would have thought about using them as home decor and little lights!!! Absolute genius. It would look so pretty! x

    • October 27, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      p.s. forgot to say I’m popping in from #letkidsbekids

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:38 pm

      The lights are so pretty aren’t they! I saw some LED lights very cheap in the Works the other day, I should have bought them then! 🙂 x

  6. October 27, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Fab ideas. We have made a few of these, but I love the look of that fairy house, so cute!
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:39 pm

      I love it too, we shall definitely be making one! 🙂 x

  7. October 27, 2015 / 10:06 pm

    I love the advent calendar idea! #toddlerapprovedtuesday

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:40 pm

      It’s so cute isn’t it and not too much work really. 🙂 x

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:41 pm

      Thanks, I can’t wait to start making some next week! 🙂 x

  8. October 28, 2015 / 10:23 am

    It’s great to see so many ideas on what to do with ‘rubbish’ 🙂

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      Thanks, we love making things out of household objects. 🙂 x

  9. October 29, 2015 / 5:07 pm

    Wow that is a lot of ideas for paper cups and some are amazing! I particularly love the advent calender and rocket launcher!! Xx

    • October 29, 2015 / 8:53 pm

      The rocket launcher will hopefully be on our to-do list next week! 🙂 x

    • October 30, 2015 / 1:23 pm

      It’s great how many ideas there are, I can’t wait to get started! 🙂 x

  10. October 30, 2015 / 9:27 am

    What a great idea. love the lights!! Who knew you could do so much with cups! #picknmix

    • October 30, 2015 / 1:24 pm

      The lights are really cool aren’t they, I love all the crafts! 🙂 x

  11. November 2, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Some great ideas!! Thanks for linking up with #toddlerapprovedtuesday xx

    • November 6, 2015 / 10:10 pm

      Thank you! Got to love paper cups! 🙂 x

  12. November 4, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    Ooh there are some great ideas here. I have loads of paper cups left over from Birthday parties and they tend to just get put to the back of the party/baking cupboard. Thanks for linking to #PickNMix

    • November 6, 2015 / 10:37 pm

      Me too, that’s why I had to write the post, so many leftover cups! 🙂 x

  13. November 5, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    I LOVE the advent calendar what a brilliant idea, and all the others as well. Fun and cheap crafts are the best 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix
    Stevie x

    • November 6, 2015 / 10:46 pm

      They are so much fun, I love using up things we already have! 🙂 x

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